Bodybuilding Federations in the UK! Which one to choose if you are a female competitor?

If you are new to competing it can be really tricky to work out what category and show to go for!

There are more and more federations each with their own unique take on the industry and specific requirements

This blog is for the ladies and summarises all of the events and shows I could find currently operating in the UK with categories for female bodybuilding, figure, bikini, fitness, model, body and all the others in between!

I am affiliated with BNBF but not specifically with any of the other federations however I thought it would be handy to have the details all in one place, including prices, places and categories.

If you spot a mistake or think something is missing please get in touch and I’ll do my best to correct.

Prices and details correct at time of writing – please check each individual federation’s official websites and Facebook pages for more details.

I have coached male and female athletes and competitors preparing for shows for the majority of these federations. If you would like to learn to present your stage package like a pro and learn the posing specific to each federation – get in touch!

Natural Federations

BNBF (BRITISH NATURAL BODYBUILDING FEDERATION) http://www.bnbf.co.uk/

BNBF celebrate the achievements of natural bodybuilding athletes with a number of heats across the country to enter. There are strict guidelines and a number of banned substances so make sure you check your adherence to this before you enter.

Categories for women: 

  • Miss Figure
  • Masters Figure
  • Women’s Bodybuilding
  • Women’s Athletic

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

  • Belfast, Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland heat)
  • Perth, Scotland (Scottish heat)
  • South Shields  (North East heat)
  • Basingstoke (Southern)
  • Newporth, Wales (Welsh heat)
  • St. Albans (Central heat)
  • Birmingham (Midland heat)
  • Manchester (Northern heat)

How much is it: 

£30 membership £10 competiton entry

Good to know:  

You must be a natural athlete to enter this competition and you should only use WADA approved supplements.

UKDFBA (UK Drug Free Bodybuilding Association) http://www.drugfreebodybuilding.co.uk/

Who’s it for:  

The UKDFBA is a federation focusing on athletes who are entirely drug free. It has been in the UK since 2011 and is the affiliate of the WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation).

Categories for women:

  • Bodybuilding – developed muscle, with symmetry and definition
  • Figure – well developed, symmetrical and defined
  • Figure masters – aged 40+ well developed, symmetrical and defined
  • Bikini – bikini look

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

  • June – USN Classic (Novice only), Rugby, Warwickshire
  • June – Caledonian Classic (Scottish heat) – Musselburgh, Scotland
  • August – Southern Counties (South heat), Camberely, Surrey
  • September – Norther Counties (North heat), Heywood, Greater Manchester
  • September – Heart of England (Midlands), Rugby, Warwickshire
  • October– UK International Championships (Finals), Coventry

How much is it: 

£35 for membership £15 per contest

Good to know: 

In order to enter you must not have had any banned substances (as stated within their rules) within the last seven years.

NPA (NATURAL PHYSIQUE ASSOCIATION) http://www.npabodybuilding.com/

Who’s it for: 

The NPA focuses on the natural bodybuilding across a lifetime. It has been operating in the UK since 2004. This is a great federation for you if you are a natural athlete.

Categories for women: 

Trained Figure

Trained Figure over 40

Ladies Physique

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

  • June – Yorkshire Championships (Leeds)
  • August – SouthEast Championships (Kent)
  • September – Mike Willimas Classic & Pro-Am (Sheffield/ Yorkshire)
  • September – SouthWest Championships (Somerset)
  • October– UK British Finals (West Yorkshire)

How much is it: 

£40 membership and entry fee £5.

Good to know: 

In order to enter you must not have had any banned substances (as stated within their rules). Further awards are given for best first timer, best presentation and overall winner. You must consent to a possible polygraph or drug test on the day of your competition.

Open Federations

2 Bros Pro Events http://www.2bpevents.com/

Who’s it for: 

This is likely to be the biggest event in the UK calendar for the bodybuilding sport due to its affiliation with the IFBB. It is likely to be very busy with plenty of competition.

Categories and classes for women: 

Thew following does not include the pro-qualifier categories for competing for a pro card – Pro-qualifier categories are available in Bikini, Fitness, Figure and Physique.

  • Bikini Novice Up to and including 5ft 1
  • Bikini Novice Over 5ft 1 to and including 5ft 2
  • Bikini Novice Over 5ft 2 to and including 5ft 3
  • Bikini Novice Over 5ft 3 to and including 5ft 4
  • Bikini Novice Over 5ft 4 to and including 5ft 5
  • Bikini Novice Over 5ft 5 to and including 5ft 6
  • Bikini Novice Over 5ft 6 to and including 5ft 7
  • Bikini Novice – Over 5ft 7
  • Bikini Masters Up to and including 5ft 1 and Aged 35+
  • Bikini Masters Over 5ft 1 to and including 5ft 2 and Aged 35+
  • Bikini Masters Over 5ft 2 to and including 5ft 3 and Aged 35+
  • Bikini Masters Over 5ft 3 to and including 5ft 4 and Aged 35+
  • Bikini Masters Over 5ft 4 to and including 5ft 5 and Aged 35+
  • Bikini Masters Over 5ft 5 to and including 5ft 6 and Aged 35+
  • Bikini Masters Over 5ft 6 to and including 5ft 7 and Aged 35+
  • Bikini Masters Over 5ft 7 to and including 5ft 7 and Aged 35+
  • Bikini Masters – Over 5ft 7  – Aged 35+
  • Physique Novice – Up to and including 5ft 2
  • Physique Novice – Over 5ft 2 to and including 5ft 4
  • Physique Novice – Over 5ft 4 to and including 5ft 6
  • Physique Novice – Over 5ft 6
  • Physique Masters – Up to and including 5ft 2 and Aged 35+
  • Physique Masters – Over 5ft 2 to and including 5ft 4 and Aged 35+
  • Physique Masters – Over 5ft 4 to and including 5ft 6 and Aged 35+
  • Physique Masters – Over 5ft 6 and Aged 35+
  • Figure Novice
  • Figure Masters Aged 35+
  • Fitness Novice

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

London

How much is it: 

£80.00 entry for non-qualifying entries, £150 for pro-qualifying entries.

Good to know: 

Entrants can apply from outside of the UK. This is the main set of events for those looking to gain their pro card in the IFBB. If this is your first event you may want to try one of the smaller federations first – but it is completely up to you.

Miami Pro http://www.miamiproevents.co.uk/

Who’s it for: 

Miami Pro is a popular event that encourages entries from all over the world and has plenty of categories to choose from.

Categories for women:

  • Junior Ms. Bikini – bikini look aged 16 years old to 23 years old
  • Fitness Model Ladies – fitness look, some definition but not overly musuclar
  • Ms. Bikini Short – bikini look 5ft 4.9 inches and shorter
  • Ms. Bikini Tall – bikini look 5ft 5inches and over
  • Ms. Bikini Over 35yrs – bikini look aged 35+
  • Figure (open level) – muscular developed physique
  • Fit Mums – healthy lean and toned, must be mother to at least one child
  • Muscle Model – musuclar developed physique, lean but with a marketable look
  • Ms. Model – model looks, attractive figure
  • Fitness Model Over 35yrs – – fitness look, some definition but not overly musuclar, aged 35+

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

  • 15th April 2018 – Alban Arena, Hertfordshire (Miami Pro World heat)
  • 28th October 2018 – Alban Arena, Hertfordshire (Miami Pro Universe heat)

How much is it:

  • £59.99 entry fee Miami Pro Universe heat
  • £55.00 entry fee Miami Pro Worlds heat

Good to know: 

1st, 2nd and 3rd winners at the Miami Pro Universe heat are invited to compete in the Pro heats at the next Miami Pro World heats (2019).

NABBA (Natural Amateur Bodybuilding Association) http://www.nabba.co.uk/

NABBA is one the oldest federations in the UK and has a longstanding reputation for producing some great bodybuilders from our corner of the globe and the opportunity to win Ms Universe.

Categories for women:

  • Miss Toned Figure Novice – must not have competed previously athletic but not overly muscular or vascular
  • Miss Toned Figure – athletic but not overly muscular or vascular
  • Miss Athletic Figure – athletic with some development but not overly muscular or vascular
  • Miss Trained Figure – retaining femininity whilst displaying trained development
  • Miss Bikini – bikini look

Contact your area rep for specific categories at your local qualifier.

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

  • April – Fife (Scottish heat)
  • April – Brierley Hill (Midlands heat)
  • April – Belfast (Northern Ireland heat)
  • April – Hayes (South East heat)
  • April – Southport (North West heat)
  • May – Newport (Wales heat)
  • May – Hartlepool (North heat)
  • May – Castleford (North East heat)
  • May – Exeter (West heat)
  • May – Southport (North West heat)

Other qualified shows:

NABBA British Finals – May – Southport

NABBA World Champs – June – Tuscany, Italy

NABBA England – October  – Brierley Hill

NABBA UK – October – Castleford

NABBA Universe – November – Birmingham

How much is it

£10 competition entry and £25.00 for annual membership (as an individual)

Good to know: 

Winners in each heat and some runners up will be considered for invite to the British Finals. British finalists are invited to compete in the NABBA Universe. You can only enter the heat for the area in which you live.

PCA (Physique Culture Association) http://www.pcaofficial.com/

Who’s it for: 

PCA is a relatively new federation having been established in 2015. There are a wide range of categories to enter and shows across the UK, there are also prizes on offer for some winners.

Categories for women:

  • Junior Bikini Toned – bikini look aged 23 and under
  • Ladies Bikini Toned​ – bikini look
  • Masters Bikini Toned – bikini look aged 35+
  • Ladies Bikini Trained​ – bikini look with slightly more muscle tone
  • Ladies Toned Figure​ – some muscularity with symmetry not overly lean or defined
  • Ladies Athletic Figure​ – feminine with some mass, muscularity, leanness and definition
  • Ladies Trained  Figure​ – feminine with muscularity, leanness and definition
  • Disability​ – must be a disabled athlete
  • Ladies Body Fitness*
  • Ladies Bodybuilding*

*(only at some shows so check first)

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

  • April  – PCA Saxon Classic, Lichfield
  • April – PCA (Scottish heat), Motherwell Concert Hall, ML1 1AB
  • April – PCA East Coast (East heat), Hull
  • May – PCA (Irish heat), Belfast
  • May – PCA Bodypower Qualifier, Birmingham NEC
  • May – PCA North East, Newcastle
  • May – PCA TNT Classic (South West heat), Exeter
  • June – PCA Hampshire, Aldershot
  • June – PCA Muscle Talk Championships, Kettering
  • July – PCA Norwich, Norwich
  • September – PCA Manchester, Middleton
  • September – PCA Midlands – Xplosive Ape Grand Prix, Birmingham
  • September – PCA Cumbrian Classic, Whitehaven
  • October – PCA Jersey, St Helier, Jersey
  • October – PCA Grand British Finals, Birmingham

How much is it: 

£35 membership and £17.50 entry.

Good to know: 

You can only enter one class per show

Pure Elite http://www.pure-elite.com/

Who’s it for: 

Pure Elite are becoming increasingly popular and there are loads of categories to choose from meaning it might be easier to find something to fit your stage look! Plus there are some categories for those who aren’t “typical” competitors, like the Tattooed Muscle and Body Transformation categories.

Categories for women:

  • Junior Bikini – bikini look aged 17 to 23
  • Bikini Babe Short – bikini look at 5ft 4.9 inches and shorter
  • Bikini Babe Tal – bikini look at 5ft 5 inches and taller
  • Bikini Diva – bikini look at aged 35+
  • Bikini Masters – bikini look at aged 45+
  • Fitness Model Short – 5ft 4.9 inches and shorter
  • Fitness Model Tall – 5ft 5 inches and taller
  • Fitness Model – aged 35+
  • Masters – aged 45+
  • Muscle Model – muscular, developed mass and well presented
  • Figure – muscular whilst retaining shape, and leanness
  • Mum’s that lift – must be mother to at least one child
  • Tattooed Muscle – muscular with tattoos
  • Body Transformation – must have transformed body in some way, for example, lost weight or gained significant amount of weight

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

  • Margate, England
  • Greater Manchester, England
  • High Wycombe, England

How much is it: 

£60.00 per category

Good to know: 

Tattoos are accepted and do not affecting scoring.

UKUP (United Kingdom Ultimate Physiques) http://www.ukultimatephysiques.co.uk/

Who’s it for: 

A relatively new federation Ultimate Physiques has a range of different categories for women to enter. The newly created World Ultimate Physiques is the next step for UKUP pro card winners.

Categories for women:

  • Ultimate Female Model – good figure and good looks
  • Ultimate Figure​ Trained – muscular figure
  • Ultimate Figure​ Athletic – athletic figure
  • Ultimate Figure Toned – toned figure
  • Ultimate Bikini Athletic – muscular bikini
  • Ultimate Bikini – bikini
  • Ultimate Bikini Masters – bikini for aged 35+
  • Ultimate Bikini Beginner – bikini first calendar year competing
  • Ultimate Bikini Junior – bikini junior for those aged 16-23

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

  • Drogheda, Ireland
  • York, England
  • Port Talbot, Wales
  • Rutherglen, Scotland
  • Birmingham, England

How much is it: 

£64.99 for an annual membership

Good to know: 

Tattoos are accepted and do not affecting scoring.

UKBFF (UK Bodybuilding Fitness Federation) http://www.ukbff.co.uk/

Who’s it for: 

UKBFF is another long standing federation which focuses on key looks and categories. UKBFF expects loyalty from competitors and expects a high calibre of presentation on stage.

Categories for women:

  • Junior Bikini-Fitness Up to/Incl 23 yrs – aged 23 years and under
  • Junior Body-Fitness Up to/Incl 23 yrs – aged 23 years and under
  • Masters Bikini-Fitness Over 35 yrs – aged 35 years and older
  • Masters Body-Fitness Over 35 yrs  – aged 35 years and older
  • Rookie Bikini Fitness (1st year competing)
  • Wellness Bikini Fitness
  • Body-Fitness
  • Women’s Physique
  • Women’s Fitness
  • Bikini-Fitness Up to 163 cm – up to 163cm tall
  • Bikini-Fitness Up to 169 cm  – up to 169cm tall
  • Bikini-Fitness Over 169 cm – Over 169cm tall

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

  • April – UKBFF National Championshps*, Leicester
  • April – UKBFF South Coast, Portsmouth
  • May – UKBFF North West, Warrington
  • May– UKBFF Amateur English Grand Prix**, Reading
  • June – The Julian Feinstein Classic UKBFF London and South East, Hayes
  • June – UKBFF Scottish, Paisley
  • July – UKBFF Classic, St Albans, Hertfordshire
  • July – UKBFF Ultimate Beginners Stars of Tomorrow***
  • July – UKBFF North
  • August  – UKBFF North East, Pudsey, West Yorkshire
  • August – UKBFF Kent Klassic, Dartford
  • September – UKBFF Northern Ireland, Belfast, BT2 7FF
  • September – UKBFF Midland, Birmingham, B3 3DQ
  • September – UKBFF East of England, Leicester
  • October– UKBFF British Championships ****
  • November– Sugar’s Classic Championships, Leicester

* This is a selection event for IFBB European and World Championships and a qualifying event for British, Arnold in Barcelona and IFBB Diamond Cups
** This is a qualifying event for the IFBB Diamond Cup and Arnold Classic Barcelona, Spain
*** Only open to absolute beginners who have never been on stage before
**** This is invite only

How much is it: 

£75 for a membership (2 year minimum) and £10 entry fee.

Good to know: 

You cannot be a member of another federation to compete with UKBFF.

Ultimate Fitness League http://ultimatefitnessleague.com/

Who’s it for: 

The UFL is a relatively new league offering a wide range of categories to enter. There are some more relaxed categories like Beach Body which may be good for first timers to the stage.

Categories for women:

  • Transformation – for those who have made a significant change to their body
  • Novice – first or second time on stage
  • Beach Body – for the less muscular, feminine and curvy
  • Fit Mums – must have at least one child
  • Bikini Short / Tall – low body fat and bikini look
  • Fitness Model – low body fat, muscular look
  • Athletic Model – developed muscle mass
  • Figure – lean and developed muscle mass
  • Theme Wear – themed outfits
  • International Female Model – Evening dress wear
  • Female Tattoo Model – athletic and toned with tattoos
  • Master Over 35 – healthy look, must be aged over 35
  • Master Over 50 – healthy look, must be aged over 50

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

  • June – Bristol
  • October – Stoke Gifford

How much is it: 

£40 per category entry fee.

Good to know: 

You must be at least 18 to enter.

WBFF (World Beauty Fitness and Fashion) http://www.wbffshows.com/

Who’s it for: 

The WBFF is an American international competition with shows across the world. It therefore attracts competitors from many different countries. Theme-wear (think Victoria Secret) and evening-wear are part of the judging rounds for come categories so you will need to be confident!

Categories for women:

  • Diva Fitness Model Short – must be under 5ft 4 with a fit and toned physique
  • Diva Fitness Model Tall – must be over 5ft 4 with a fit and toned physique
  • Diva Bikini Model Short – must be under 5ft 4 with a bikini figure
  • Diva Bikini Model Tall – must be over 5ft 4 with a bikini figure
  • Diva Figure Model Short – must be under 5ft 4 with an athletic figure
  • Diva Figure Model Tall – must be over 5ft 4 with an athletic figure
  • Commercial Model – must be 5ft 6 to 5ft 11 with commercial model looks and aged between 17 and 36 years

Where bodybuilding qualifier show locations are likely to be annually: 

  • May – WBFF 2018 London Fitness & Fashion Weekend

How much is it: 

Check website for more details

Good to know: 

This show combines fitness and fashion so has pageant influences and more on-stage theatrics.

FOR ALL STAGE PRESENTATION AND ELITE POSING PACKAGES BESPOKE TO YOUR CHOSEN CLASS & FEDERATION, CLICK HERE!

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